Page last updated: January 1, 2005

Chapter 7

The morning dawned bright through the windows of the room and Xena was up and dressed by the time Gabrielle sleepily opened her eyes. Gabrielle reluctantly changed out of the borrowed shift and donned the robes of the priestess again. An attendant came to escort them to breakfast and Gabrielle finally started to wake up as her stomach was slowly filled.

"So, what do you think his answer will be?" Gabrielle asked while she munched on some fruit.

"I don't know. He loves his daughter, but he's also pretty set in his ways and he knows he has to think of his people first," Xena replied as she took a bite from a muffin.

Princess Calandria entered the room and was immediately served a plate of food and a mug of juice.

"Good morning," Calandria greeted them.

"Good morning, Princess. Did you sleep well?" Gabrielle asked.

"No, I'm afraid I didn't. I kept tossing and turning all night. I'm worried my father won't think your reasons are good enough to change the laws and I'll have to marry that Prince Boris. He's not really a bad guy, I just don't love him. I'll always love only Jason."

Gabrielle nudged Xena when she caught the rolling eyes at the Princess' near swooning when she said Jason's name. Xena looked down at her, and even though there was no smile on her face, Gabrielle could see the twinkling eyes and had to work not to laugh herself.

They both sobered and turned their heads to the room's entrance when the herald walked in and cleared his throat.

"Princess Calandria, High Priestess Daphne, and Xena. You are all commanded to attend to His Highness, King Pericles, in his throne room. Please, follow me."

The three women stood and walked after the departing herald out of the dining room. Soon, they were in the throne room in front of the King and they waited for him to speak.

"My daughter. Do you love Jason?"

"Yes, Father, with all my heart."

"And do you believe he will make a good husband to you and a good king to the people?"

"Yes, Father."

"Priestess Daphne. You believe that anyone could be taught to be a good king?"

Gabrielle shook her head.

"No, Your Highness. A bad man will never make a good king. But you said yourself that your daughter could only love a good man. It will be up to you to teach him to also be a good king."

King Pericles nodded.

"Then so be it. From this day forward, the King's successor will be trained by the King himself, regardless of the station of his birth. The Princess may marry any man she chooses, as long as he passes the King's tests, which I will devise later."

"Thank you, Father!" Calandria practically squealed and ran to embrace her father.

King Pericles grinned and hugged his daughter back and winked at Gabrielle and Xena. Gabrielle and Xena turned to each other and smiled. They had saved the day again and kept love from being taken from the world.

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